Intermediate Cup Final 1958/59 & Cork City

Bray Wanderers lost their grip on the FAI Intermediate Cup in 1958/59 to a Cork club, Albert Rovers. Cork clubs had good records in the competition during the 1930s to 1950s, contesting 18 out of the 26 finals played between 1931 and 1959. Cork Bohemians had won the competition in 1927/28 & 1930/31 when it was known as the Qualifying Cup.

Eight times Cork teams had finished runners up before Richmond Celtic brought the cup back to Leeside in 1945/46. Cork B, Cork Bohemians B, G.S. Railways, Cork Bohemians (3 times) and Cobh Ramblers (twice) had all tasted defeat in the final.

Bray Wanderers were the leading side in the competition from 1955 to 1960 featuring in four finals - winning twice in 1955/56 against Workmens Club and 1957/58 against Chapleizod. Wanderers were defeated in the 1958/59 final against Albert Rovers and suffered the same feat a year later against Longford Town.

Bray were expected to beat Albert Rovers in the 1958/59 decider after good performances in the Leinster Senior Cup, defeating League of Ireland sides Shamrock Rovers and Transport earlier in the season. Bray opened well before a very large attendance at Ruthland Avenue with wing halves “Beano” Hall and Larry Doran linking well with forwards Bennett, Moody and McKay.

Bray threatened to run riot but squandered many chances. They did manage to convert two chances, McKay scoring after only two minutes which was soon levelled by Hickey from a cross by Ingerton, before Bennett scored on 32 minutes from Hall’s pass to restore Wanderers' lead.

Albert Rovers dominated the second period and equalised after 57 minutes through Driscoll. A minute later Rovers were awarded a penalty when Carroll handled in the box. Mullins scored the winner from the spot kick. The teams lined up as follows:

Albert Rovers: Horgan, Kelly (c), Lowe, Condon, Connell, Daly, Driscoll, Collins, Ingerton, Mullins, Hickey
Bray Wanderers: Turner, Carroll, Whelan, Hall, Connor, Doran (c), Bennett, Mooney, McKay, Daly, McGee

Failure to score tonight against Cork City would see Bray Wanderers equal their record of five consecutive games without a goal. The current record was set in March 1994 in five league games against St James’s Gate (5 March, 0-0, Home) Athlone Town (11 March, 0-0, Away), Waterford United (17 March, 0-0, Home), Waterford United (20 March, 0-0, Away) and Sligo Rovers (26 March, 0-1, Away).

Cork City will attempt to record their first away victory of the season at the Carlisle Grounds tonight. Their away form is in total contrast to their home form where they have a 100% home record, scoring three times in all of their first five league games before last Sunday’s 1-0 win over Drogheda United.

The change to Friday night football has worked wonders for the Leesiders with large crowds in attendance. Only Derry City in the FAI Cup Semi-Final have denied City a victory at Turners Cross this season. On the other hand their away form, picking up only two points from a possible 18 on offer, is the main reason why they trail League leaders Bohemians by a large margin.

Michael Duffy

first published in Seagull Scene, 25 October 2002

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